International Women’s Day, observed annually on March 8, has roots deep in political activism dating back to 1909. Originally held as National Woman’s Day in New York City, the Socialist Party of America organized the event to address both suffragist and socialist causes. Spreading to Europe, the first International Woman’s Day, organized by the socialist government of France, was recognized worldwide with over a million women participating. Declared an official Soviet holiday in 1917 by the communist party founder, Vladimir Lenin. Celebrated primarily by socialist countries until the mid-1970’s, the United Nations General Assembly recognized March 8 as International Women’s Day beginning in 1975.
International Women’s Day continues to be recognized as a call for equality around the globe. South Africa observes Women’s Day in August as part of Women’s Month and commemorates a march of the Federation of South African Women (FSAW) in 1956 against the Apartheid government. Regardless of the actual day observed, Women’s Day represents the importance of equal opportunity for all women regardless of our differences. The 2022 theme of #BreakTheBias emboldens that premise by encouraging us to work toward eliminating bias, stereotypes, and discrimination.
- International Women’s Day resources
- United Nations observance of International Women’s Day: Gender Equality Today for a Sustainable Tomorrow
- UN courses about gender and climate change
- Eventbrite: International Women’s Day 2022: #BreakTheBias
- Attach the International Women’s Day design elements to your email signature and/or use it in your social media
For additional education and personal development related to diversity, equity and inclusion, the following resources are available: DEI Education and Resources, DEI & Antiracism Resources from the UNC Libraries, the Education Equity Toolkit from the Colorado Department of Higher Education, and the UNITE workshops for faculty, staff, and students.